How Often Is Your Car Model Stolen?

The Highway Loss Data Institute keeps track of insurance claims for stolen cars, and it’s just released a list of the highest and lowest insurance claims for auto theft for 2007-09 models. The winner is the Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV, followed by the Ford F-250 pickup–both of these vehicles have a relatively high claim frequency and high average loss payment per claim of $9,600-$11,000. On the other end, the Mini Cooper and Toyota Sienna 4WD are infrequently stolen and have average loss payments of around $2,000.

Update: Here’s the top and bottom 10 models from the Institute’s press release, for those of you who can’t access the site (GitEmSteveDave).

  Vehicle size/type Claim
Avg. loss
per claim
Cadillac Escalade large/very large luxury SUV 10.8 $11,934 $128
Ford F-250 crew 4WD (2008-09) very large pickup 9.7 $9,636 $91
Infiniti G37 2-door (2008-09) midsize luxury car 7.1 $10,324 $71
Dodge Charger HEMI large family car 7.1 $10,118 $69
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 midsize sports car 1.7 $41,229 $68
Hummer H2 4WD very large SUV 6.2 $10,324 $62
Nissan Pathfinder Armada large SUV 4.5 $12,458 $54
Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 very large SUV 7.4 $7,571 $54
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew large pickup 8.0 $6,814 $53
GMC Yukon large SUV 5.7 $9,499 $52
Volvo S80 large luxury car 0.8 $619 $1
Saturn VUE 4WD (2008-09) midsize SUV 0.7 $1,445 $1
Nissan Murano (2009) midsize SUV 0.7 $1,790 $1
Saturn VUE (2008-09) midsize SUV 0.6 $2,340 $1
Honda Pilot 4WD (2009) midsize SUV 0.8 $1,927 $2
Subaru Impreza (2008-09) small station wagon 0.9 $1,858 $2
Toyota Prius small car 0.8 $2,203 $2
Mini Cooper minicar 0.8 $2,134 $2
Toyota Tacoma double 4WD small pickup 2.8 $619 $2
Toyota Sienna 4WD very large minivan 0.8 $2,203 $2
Note: Claim frequencies are per 1,000 insured vehicle years; overall theft losses are average loss payments per insured vehicle year; results are for 2007-09 models unless otherwise noted.

“Cadillac Escalade, Ford F-250 pickup, and Infiniti G37 top list of highest insurance claims for theft” [HLDI]


Edit Your Comment

  1. AstroPig7 says:

    And… my Volkswagen is nowhere on either list. I’m not sure if I should be relieved.

  2. JoeXJoe says:

    I have a 93 Honda Civic. I was having troubles with the ignition switch… some people (I assume it was more than one person) tried to steal my car 3 times (at least), on the 3rd time they removed a few parts from my ignition switch. It works much better now.

    • B* says:

      Ours is an ’01. Think if we leave the windows rolled down thieves will fix the a/c?

    • Mr.Grieves says:

      I have a 99′ Civic, and I also had problems with ignition a little while ago. However, there was a recall on ignition switches for my model, and when I had it changed my problems were gone. Your car is a bit older, but probably came with the same ignition switch knowing honda, no recall notice for you? :(

      When I had the problem no one else could start my car though, lol. There was a sweet spot, you couldn’t turn the key too far or too short, it had to be just right or it would turn over and just die right away.

  3. savashley says:

    Buy a stick..not many people can drive them these days

    • RandomHookup says:

      I hear they are especially popular at Hogwarts.

    • JRock says:

      I agree – my car has a six-speed, it’s like having built-in theft protection! Well, other than the alarm system, anyway.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      Not many decent cars are available as a stick though; usually just low-end compacts and high-end sports cars. And if you want a stick in a mid-size sedan you usually have to order it from the factory which means you can’t really negotiate on price. :-( Sucks, because I drove sticks from age 16 until I bought the Sonata in 2007. I miss my stick shifts.

      • savashley says:

        Volkswagen makes great sticks! My Mr. drives a’s fast and fun! I love to drive it, it’s the first stick I learned to drive!

      • SarcasticDwarf says:

        If you think you can’t negotiate on price for a car ordered from the factory you are delusional. You can buy a new car CHEAPER by ordering it from the factory. If you are paying over invoice you are doing it wrong.

      • Geekybiker says:

        My Acura TL is a 6spd manual and qualifies as a mid size sedan. I know the subaru legacy is available in manual if you want something a little cheaper.

    • Willow16 says:

      Yep. My husband had to go into the city recently and I suggested he take our old car rather than the new Subaru Forester but he said, since it was a stick, it would most likely be avoided and it came home in one piece.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      What I find funny is how many times I’ve been to an oil change place, or tire shop, and the techs there don’t know how to drive stick.

      • Tvhargon says:

        My brother worked at a repair place, and he had to learn how to drive one before he could start work.

    • jefeloco says:

      Exactly! Not only are sticks more fun to drive and +18,000,000,000 points cooler because you row your own, they are inherently theft deterrent these days.

      I saw your reply below about the GTI, I’m trying to convince my wife that we need a newer GTI or perhaps an STi, or some other hi-po compact instead of our ’05 Corolla S (that is a stick).

      Having owned a few motorcycles and manual cars, I can’t stand how non-interactive an automatic seems now.

    • t325 says:

      Ditto. I have a 2009 VW GTI 6spd, I consider it an anti-theft feature. Unfortunately, my insurance company doesn’t when calculating the discounts I get.

  4. econobiker says:

    Or is this really a list of cars that people buy, can’t afford, and then have ~stolen~ for the insurance payoff?

  5. KillerBee says:

    I think I’d be really pissed off if someone stole my $50,000 Escalade and my insurance only paid out $11,000.

    Hypothetically, of course, since I don’t own one.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      If its an older Escalade, it might only be worth $11,000

    • SarcasticDwarf says:

      Nah, the $11,000 is just for your rims.

      • milad32 says:

        Yeah, it is just for the rims. I am apart of a community forum where I live and people routinely post threads of “Look at what I woke up today…” and inside sure enough is pictures of their escalade sitting on cinder blocks. Idiots don’t have the common sense to park their $70k SUVs inside their garage.

    • Dopaz says:

      Don’t forget the Hybrid Escalades run $80k+

  6. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I can’t get to the linked site. Can anyone tell me if my 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera is safe?

  7. bhr says:

    Some methodology issues with this report.

    Its doesn’t take in to account ownership percentages. So more commonly owned cars wind up being stolen more, but we don’t know what the percentage rate it is. (IE the uncommon Mini and Prius being on the low list)

    It does its study based on average claim size, so expensive cars are automatically going to own the bad list.

    It separates some models by small differentiators (4w vs 2w)

    One thing I like is that it includes claims for missing/stolen items besides the vehicle. Work trucks in this area often are broken in to for tools/equipment, and high end cars often are broken in to for electronics/money. I know that when I had my old BMW (10 years old+) I had it twice broken into downtown from we assume addicts looking for cash/items to sell, while my chevy, while worth twice as much, has never had that problem.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      I would hazard a guess that they’ve done a fairly good job of accounting for those variables. Otherwise it’d be reasonable to assume that Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces would top the list as claims could easily reach well into 6-figures. True, they’re not very common vehicles, per your 2nd point which might counteract the 1st,

      However, your 2nd point is moot as (as you pointed out) there are far more Toyota Siennas on the road than Mini Coopers.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      It’s a test of logic. The more popular cars are going to be stolen more often both because of raw percentages (more of them increases likelihood it’s being stolen) but also because WHY they are being stolen. Chop shops wants cars that people want, which would logically be the models that a higher percentage own. So, logically, the cars with a larger presence will be stolen more often.

      In other words, the most popular cars are stolen most often because they are most popular AND most abundant.

  8. HogwartsProfessor says:

    …for 2007-09 models.

    Bwaa ha ha ha ha!!! Oh hee hee hee hee ha ha ha ha!!! I wish!

    I’m lucky to have a 17-year-old Buick with the side mirror held on by duct tape, broken AC, and both driver’s side windows won’t roll down. No chance of anyone bothering that one.

    If I were going to STEAL a car…it’d be a Lamborghini. :)

    • ARP says:

      And you would be caught in about 5 minutes and/or have trouble unloading the car or the parts. Part of the appeal of these cars is that they are relatively popular and non-descript. They are also generally more valuable for parts than as a whole.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Oh, I know. But driving a Lamborghini on a high-speed chase, shooting out the window, whipping through the streets with the wind in my hair…

        I’ll settle for a nice, sedate ride in one. :)

        • ARP says:

          Sounds like fun. I’ve always wondered what a chase would be like on REAL city streets. In Chicago, it would blow a tire or axle within about 20 seconds with all the potholes, construction, etc.

          • Donathius says:

            I’ve always loved movies that have chase scenes through cities like New York (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) or San Francisco (The Rock and What’s Up Doc? – funniest chase scene ever). What’s Up Doc? would have you believe that the streets of San Francisco are relatively empty in the middle of the afternoon – save for the obligatory “two guys holding a large pane of glass” – and of course there’s never anyone driving slowly down Lombard Street. In most of these big cities a “high-speed” chase would be MUCH faster if everyone were on bicycles.

  9. Dallas_shopper says:

    My car’s nowhere on the list. I don’t think people want to steal 3 year-old Hyundai Sonatas, though.

  10. tomm says:

    Glad my prius is on the list, some people don’t even know how to start it!

    • tbax929 says:

      From what I’ve heard, the problem isn’t getting them to start; it’s getting them to stop.

  11. moyawyvern says:

    I don’t know why I even bothered looked for my car on that report. The only way my 2002 Cavalier could be less high-end was if I had to make is move Fred Flinestone-style. I have good insurance, though, so I hope I would get something for it if someone was stupid enough to steal it.

  12. wjstone says:

    No VW’s on there so I’m safe.

  13. physics2010 says:

    No clue why F250’s are on the list, really?
    FTA “Pickups are a group to watch: “In many cases it’s tough to pinpoint exactly why a vehicle becomes a theft target,” Hazelbaker says. “Investigators tell us big work trucks like the Ford F-250/350, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and Dodge Ram 2500 are attractive not only because of the vehicles themselves but also because of the tools and cargo they carry.””
    “Authorities said the trucks are ideal for such crimes because they are easy to take – they weren’t made with the same security devices as other vehicles until a couple of years ago – and are able to haul loads of people without drawing the notice of police. “

    Guess it depends who you ask, or they were doing a horrible job of trying to be neutral in the illegal alien discussion.

    • ARP says:

      They’re useful for parts and they can probably be more easily altered to not be idenfied later. Meaning, you can make it look like a work vehicle much easier than an Infiniti and it’s less likely to arouse suspicion, even if the ownership doesn’t fully match since it’s a “fleet” vehicle.

      They may also have fewer major parts with the Vehicle ID.

    • El-Brucio says:

      I suspect that pick-up trucks are popular to steal because they can also be used for other crimes – say, hauling away an ATM, or loading a stolen HDTV, or a motorcycle, etc.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      They’re also convenient for stealing other things from the work site. They can pull a trailer or be loaded up with tools & equipment.

  14. john says:

    I guess the Z06 Corvette isn’t stolen that much, but has high a high average loss which puts it on the list. I, for one, wouldn’t even try to steal one. My brother-in-law has one and just riding in it scared the cr*p out of me. I would think the average joy-rider would kill himself or someone else in a Z06. Maybe that explains the high average loss.

    • Geekybiker says:

      Oddly enough I owned a corvette for awhile and it was cheaper to insure than “cheap” sports cars like the Mustang GT or Chevy Camaro.

  15. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Not being in either, I assume I hit the sweet spot.

  16. AstroWorn2010 says:

    I find it hard to believe that my 07 Kia Rio is not on the list , it’s decked out with seat belts and a CD player!

    • travel_nut says:

      Oh man! Those seat belts fetch a high price on the black market, you’d better watch out…

      • AstroWorn2010 says:

        It’s ok I have a club.

        • LastError says:

          The club is completely worthless. Any car thief can remove one in seconds. Leave your club installed and the window down and I bet you someone will see it walking by and take the thing off and leave it there just for kicks, without damaging the car at all. Just for fun.

  17. eccsame says:

    Even though my ’99 Dodge Intrepid has been stolen three times in the past four years and I’ve been told by police that it’s one of the easiest cars to steal, it isn’t on the list. I have a club now, so it hasn’t been stolen lately.
    But who would steal a Dodge Intrepid if it weren’t so easy to steal? It isn’t like there are roving gangs of septuagenarians roaming my neighborhood.

    • eccsame says:

      never mind, it’s only for 2007-2009 cars – not old beaters. My car probably tops the “stolen, old beater” list.

  18. travel_nut says:

    I think my 1999 Plymouth Breeze is fairly safe. Whew.

  19. tape says:

    I find it interesting that 8/10 of the highest losses are “large” or “very large”. The remaining two are the Corvette, a sports car, and the G37, which is pretty much a luxury sports car.

    I wouldn’t buy any of those gigantic SUVs or trucks, and don’t see the appeal of them.

    /2009 Honda Fit, best car ever

    • tbax929 says:

      I have shoes bigger than a Honda Fit. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those ridiculous-looking cars!

  20. bleigh says:

    I wouldn’t mind someone stealing my 2000 Dodge Neon… At least it gives me an excuse for a new car. The way the brakes sound though, I don’t think they can get away easy. Ha.

  21. Clyde Barrow says:

    Gee,,no one wants my Ford Focus?

  22. khooray says:

    Funny, they all want to steal large SUV’s and large luxury cars.
    I’ve got a 2003 Trailblazer LT EXT fully loaded, but it’s not on the list. Guess my Chevy isn’t good enough since it doesn’t have an emblem that would look cool on an inch thick gold chain!

  23. Dopaz says:

    Great, I have an Escalade Hybrid and a Hemi Challenger SRT8… Got lojack for the Challenger and park the Escalade in the garage, but still. Way to buy thief-targets.